Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

New York: Being Prepared for the Unexpected!

Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 @ 02:52 PM


Emergency Preparedness 
Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of earthquake prone Californians and those who live in the part of the country known as "Tornado Alley." For Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.  Heavy snow is expected to hit the Northeast today. 

Blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures hit hard and frequently across the state. Even if you think you are safe and warm at home, a winter storm can become dangerous if the power is cut off. With a little planning, you can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather, both at home and on the road.

BE AWARE OF THE FORECAST

  • Winter weather advisory. Formerly called a "travelers' advisory," this alert may be issued by the National Weather Service for a variety of severe conditions. Weather advisories may be announced for snow, blowing and drifting snow, freezing drizzle, freezing rain (when less than ice storm conditions are expected), or a combination of weather events.
  • Winter storm watch. Severe winter weather conditions may affect your area (freezing rain, sleet or heavy snow may occur either separately or in combination).
  • Winter storm warning. Severe winter weather conditions are imminent.
  • Freezing rain or freezing drizzle. Rain or drizzle is likely to freeze upon impact, resulting in a coating of ice glaze on roads and all other exposed objects.
  • Sleet. Small particles of ice, usually mixed with rain. If enough sleet accumulates on the ground, it makes travel hazardous.
  • Blizzard warning. Sustained wind speeds of at least 35 miles per hour are accompanied by considerable falling and/or blowing snow. This is the most perilous winter storm, with visibility dangerously restricted.
  • Wind chill. A strong wind combined with a temperature slightly below freezing can have the same chilling effect as a temperature nearly 50 degrees lower in a calm atmosphere. The combined cooling power of the wind and temperature on exposed flesh is called the wind-chill factor.

BE PREPARED AT HOME

  • Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlights in working order; stock extra batteries.
  • Store food that can be prepared without an electric or gas stove.
  • Stock emergency water and cooking supplies.
  • Have candles and matches available in case of a power outage.
  • Have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Have some kind of emergency heating equipment and fuel (a kerosene heater, a gas fireplace or wood-burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room of your house warm if power is cut off. (See the fact sheet "Staying Warm in an Unheated House.")

RIDING OUT A STORM AT HOME

If you are isolated at home, listen to the radio or television for updates on weather conditions. Conserve fuel by keeping your house cooler than usual and by temporarily "closing off" heat to some rooms. When emergency heating methods must be used, maintain adequate ventilation to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. (See the fact sheet, "Staying Warm in an Unheated House.")

Dress accordingly. Layer your clothing; many layers of thin clothing are warmer than single layers of thick clothing. If you need to go outdoors or the heat is off indoors, wear mittens; they are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat; most body heat is lost through the top of the head. Cover your mouth with scarves to protect your lungs from directly inhaling extremely cold air.

If shoveling snow isn't critical, don't do it. If you must shovel snow, take your time and lift small amounts. Over-exertion can bring on a heart attack - a major cause of death during and after winter storms.

Stay safe and stay warm!

Related Article:  Ice Dams and Your Home

Source: NASD

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Winter Is Coming

Posted on Wed, Nov 05, 2008 @ 01:23 PM

WINTER FORECASTS
How accurate were they?

Some winters can be tougher than the NFL football season!

Last year, Long Island had a relatively mild winter and readings from LI Mac-Arthur Airport related to the Winter of 2007-2008 indicated:

Mean temperature: 34.2 degrees vs. normal temperature based on 30-year average: 33.7 degrees.


Last year’s overall predictions for winter of ’07-’08:

  • National Weather Service: Above average temperatures for most of the U.S.
  • AccuWeather Inc.: Marginally warmer than normal
  • WSI Inc.: Warmer than usual
  • Weather 2000 Inc.: Slightly cooler than 10-year average, warmer than 30-year average
  • The Farmers Almanac: “Two-faced winter” for the nation, with extremes of warm and dry, and cold and wet, varying by region
  • The Old Farmers Almanac: Warmer than normal, but slightly colder than winter of ‘06-‘07

Could this winter's weather add to our economic woes on Long Island?
As homeowners across the country pray for a mild winter to offset rising energy costs, the world-famous Farmers’ Almanac is warning us to prepare for the worst. “Numb’s the word!” is how the 192-year-old publication is predicting the upcoming winter season. For 2008–2009, the Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a “numbing” winter, with below-average temperatures for at least two-thirds of the country. Only the Far West and Southeast will see near-normal temperatures. Few, if any, locations will enjoy many above-normal temperature days this upcoming season.

Snow?
Precipitation-wise, most of the South, as well as the Midwest, should experience above-normal conditions, while the rest of the nation will average close to normal. With below-normal winter temperatures and an above-normal precipitation forecast, the Great Lakes and Midwest will see above-normal snowfalls, especially during January and February. Above-normal precipitation is forecast for the Southwest during December 2008 and for the Southeast in January and February 2009. It should also turn out to be an unusually wet and/or snowy February across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The other long-range forecasts for the impending winter season were predicting mostly above-normal temperatures nationwide, with no prolonged spells of cold weather, and limited precipitation.

The Farmers’ Almanac, in contrast, predicted that it would be a "two-faced" winter, with warm and dry extremes balancing extremes of cold and wet. For those of you who live in the Midwest, northern New England, and parts of the West, last winter was anything but mild and warm. Snowfall records were broken, and winter seemed as if it would never end.

Highlights from last winter:

  • The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. during the climatological winter (December 2007–February 2008) was the coolest since 2001.
  • Above-average winter precipitation was the norm for the Midwest and parts of the West.
  • Snowfall was also above normal in northern New England, where some locations posted all-time record winter snow totals. (Find out which towns broke records).

Long-range weather predictions are created almost two years in advance and are based on a formula that has proven to be dependable. People who follow the forecasts claim the accuracy rate is about 80–85%.

For more details on last year and this year's weather, get the 2009 Farmers' Almanac.

Check out other major weather events accurately predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac

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Blackouts

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2008 @ 01:20 PM

Nor'easters can be devastating and damaging, especially in the winter months, when most damage is caused by heavy snow and icing. Nor'easters are known for bringing extremely cold air down from the Arctic air mass, and many times power will be lost in local communities.

Being prepared for emergencies is crucial at home, school, work and in your community. Short-term power outages, such as those caused by storms, are inconveniences but with good planning, you and those you care about will be ready to react accordingly.


Top Safety Tips for a Blackout

  1. Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
  2. Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
  3. Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.
  4. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
  5. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.
  6. Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

If you would like more information about blackouts and how to deal with them, contact the power company that serves your area.

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